Part of having sheep is doing the non-training work; feeding, shearing and butchering.  After a long winter of having heavy coats and eating up, it was time to shear them down and see what frame was there.  Shearing time is a great opportunity to get the first peek at how the lambs are starting to fill out for future sale.

Around Seattle a favorite shearer is Eben.  He flies in from Wales every year and makes the rounds to many small flocks around Western Washington.  This year he says he’ll shear about 1,200 head.  The photos don’t really do it justice to watch.  The motion seemed almost constant, one hand using various holds to keep the sheep in submissive positions to prevent injury and the other taking off the wool in one constant motion. Each sheep took less than four minutes each to shear.

So first we have to keep them all together.

Nice easy motions keeps everyone calm and wool comes off like buttah.

Finished products

This is Fatty (yes, she is gi-flippin-normous).

Ms. Fatty all cleaned up. Fatty has a pretty awesome fleece and you can see all the shear lines.

“But my wallet is in one of these!”

The finished product, and Hank the sheepdog.

We cleared 67 fleeces in 3 and half hours. Eben sheared and I rolled the fleeces that were marked to keep and tossed the others. This is the best hamstring workout, ever. Ow ow ow…

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